The Washington Post

Is the GOP’s supercommittee `concession’ proposal actually a concession?

Are some Democrats getting ready to accept the GOP’s supercommittee proposal — you know, the one that allows for some $300 billion in new revenues, in exchange for making the Bush tax cuts permanent and lowering tax rates on top earners to 28 percent?

Senate Republicans are circulating an article from the Hill and claiming it proves that Senator Dick Durbin is breaking with fellow Dems to support the GOP proposal. The article quotes Durbin calling the GOP plan a “breakthrough.”

But Durbin’s office is now clarifying that he in no way endorsed the GOP proposal. And as far as I can tell from the transcript making the rounds, all Durbin was saying that it’s a “breakthrough”that Republicans are willing to discuss new revenues at all.

Indeed, this is what Durbin just told Reuters Washington Summit:

“Something I said this morning may have been slightly misconstrued. Here’s what I stand by: I believe the fact that Republicans have mentioned the word “revenue” is a breakthrough. Now, I have not endorsed their proposal, nor do I think it’s the endgame by any means. But the fact that they have put revenues on the table is an important step forward.”

Beyond the back and forth, here’s a thought. Republicans are proposing a plan for around $300 billion in new revenues for making the Bush cuts permanent and lowering high end tax rates to 28 percent. They’re claiming this represents a major concession. So can’t we get numbers on what this would actually mean in net increased revenues and deficit reduction, if anything? Can't we submit this proposal for scoring by the Congressional Budget Office, once enough details are available?

That would help evaluate how big a concession this plan really is. Anyone game?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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